The most important thing to know about Medical Emergencies in infants/children

By: Carmel Blue Infant CPR teacher, Fire Fighter Paramedic teacher Stephen Giacalone
A few days ago there was an emergency situation at Carmel Blue.  The emergency was made that much worse because it involved a baby.  Seems this baby was fighting a low grade fever and when the fever rose dramatically she had a Febrile Seizure.  Due to quick action (and proper preparedness) by those present we are happy to say the baby is fine.
As a result, Sharone asked me to prepare a little something about how to best approach or handle an emergency when that emergency involves a child or your child.
First of all – prepare yourself. Take an Infant CPR and Emergency response class regularly. Have a plan of action what you would do in case of an emergency.
In my experience as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), as a Paramedic, and as a Firefighter, I have seen many many things. Some good and some not so much. The five most common emergencies I have seen involving children have been:
1. Trauma
2. Seizures
3. Respiratory emergencies
4. Allergic reactions
5. SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
This list is by no means a statistical list!  It is merely what I have encountered most frequently. I do not want to get into the specifics of each of those items on the list.  That is a class in itself.
The message I would like to convey is this; as soon as you recognize that there is a problem, act on it! 
The biggest issue that contributes to poor outcomes in children is a delay in recognizing that there is a problem and then getting help.  That help can be in the form of a family member, friend, bystander, and just as important, contacting 911.
I completely understand that when it is your child it is nerve-wracking and scary.  Honestly, even I get extra wound-up when a call comes in for a sick or injured child, and I have been doing this job for almost 24 years!  The important thing to remember is try to stay calm and focus on the task at hand, and that task is helping your child. As parents, you are in-tune with your child or children more so and better than anyone!  Trust your parent intuition.  Recognizing that there may be or that there is a problem is crucial. Reach out for help immediatley and contact 911.  If it turns out to be nothing, then great!  But, if not, then you will have done the best thing possible for your child.
I hope this little article helps.  I am also pretty sure that this little article will elicit some questions.
That’s perfectly fine.  I am more than happy to try to answer them in the future.
Join me at Carmel Blue and learn to spot the warning signals and what you can do in response at our
Infant CPR and Emergency response classes offered monthly.

The Secret To A Fussy Baby: Massage

infantmassageResearch has shown that baby massage can help ease teething pains, tummy troubles, boost muscle development, and soothe a fussy baby to sleep. Out of the five senses, touch is the one that is most developed at birth, which is why infant massage has tremendous benefits for supporting baby’s growth and development. Here’s an introduction to the art of baby massage.
Pick a Comfortable Ambiance
Make sure the room is at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit so baby doesn’t catch a chill, dim the lights, and play some relaxing music. You can massage baby on your bed, on their changing table, even on your couch. Just remember to put a towel underneath to avoid oil stains.
Unscented Massage Oils Are Best
If you’re going to use an oil so your hand glides more easily over baby’s body, we recommend going with something unscented and vegetable/fruit based. Good oil options are olive, grape seed, coconut, and avocado to name a few. These oils are easily absorbed into baby’s skin. We recommend staying away from nut oils because of potential allergies and mineral oil because they can clog pores. Here’s one of our favorite.
Read Your Baby’s Cues
Not all babies like being massaged all the time, they have to be in the mood. If as soon as you lay your hands on them they start to cry, save the massage session for a later time. And not every session needs to include a full-body massage. If your baby decides he’s had enough after you massaged his feet and legs, that’s fine as well.
The Importance of Baby Massage
What matters is that you try to turn baby massage into a daily routine. It sets aside a special time where you can bond with baby one-on-one and help them find their inner-zen, as well as yours. This is also a great opportunity for dads to get hands-on care time with baby, especially if they work and baby is breastfed. The important thing to remember, whether it be mom or dad, is that the warmth and stroke of your hands on baby releases a feel-good hormone that instantly soothes and helps them develop mentally, socially, and physically.
Don’t Miss Our Baby Massage Class on June 28th! Sign Up Hereinfant-massage-foot-
In this two hour class you will:
-Learn how to give your baby a basic full-body massage
– Learn protocols to relieve gas, constipation, colic and stress
– Learn songs and rhymes to accompany massage
– Learn through massage how to nourish your child’s well-being, enhancing brain development and emotional and physical health
– Bond with your baby
– Build confidence in caring for your child

Do’s and Don’ts of Newborn Care

doula service babyTips for handling a newborn

  • Do: Wash your Hands (or use a sanitizer) before handling baby. Since Newborns are susceptible to infections because they do have not have a strong immune system, it is crucial that anyone who handles an infant wash their hands.
  • Do: Support both the neck and head when handling a newborn. Cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
  • Don’t: Place your newborn to sleep on their belly. Always place a baby on its back. This will help them maintain a good sleeping posture and is the best precaution against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Do: Practice Skin to Skin. Studies have shown there are important benefits of practicing skin to skin for babies and for mom (and dad!) after birth and in the weeks following. Find out more about skin to skin and baby wearing
  • Do: Join your local mom’s group.  Come to ours – Free!  Every Wednesday at 12:30.